Sunday, May 26

4 Reasons a Restaurateur Might Need to Hire an Attorney

While a pro of quarantining and working from home has been being able to live your life wearing pajamas throughout the day, the fact of the matter remains that for some jobs and industries, sweatpants or pajamas don’t cut it. This is especially true in an industry like the restaurant field, where even though the pandemic has impacted business, restauranteurs continue to fight to keep their business open and their customers satisfied. From buying used restaurant equipment to offering additional meal prep kits or family portions of popular dishes, restaurants are getting creative in the ways they’re cutting corners and innovating to stay afloat.

That being said, there are still some situations in which restauranteurs need to play strong defense, and one of those has to do with having an attorney to protect their interests from a legal perspective. Here are just four of the reasons you might want to retain the services of a legal professional if you’re in the restaurant industry.

1. You may need a lawyer if you’re being acquired.


One of the best-case scenarios for true restauranteurs is the possibility of being acquired. This can be the best way to really make a profit on your restaurant without having to worry about the month-to-month grind of maintaining commercial kitchen equipment like freezers, refrigerators, or ice machines. That being said, acquisition or corporate merger can be a complex business transaction, during which it makes sense to bring in qualified legal help.

Someone like Malliha Wilson can be a major boon in these sorts of situations. In addition to her experience with labour law and human rights issues, Malliha Wilson has a reputation for helping entrepreneurs manage different aspects of corporate law. If you’re wondering if she’s qualified, the fact that she served as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the Supreme Court of Canada as part of the Ontario government should tell you a lot. An experienced litigator with a degree from McGill University, Malliha definitely has the skills and experience to help you manage your acquisition case.

2. You might want a lawyer to handle personal injury cases.


One of the most common kinds of cases you may experience when running a commercial kitchen is workman’s compensation or personal injury cases filed by employees. Even if you’re working with chefs with extensive experience, restaurant owners run the risk of experiencing a personal injury suit just based on the fast pace of kitchens and the variety of appliances and tools cooks use that can burn, crush, or cut them. Having a lawyer on retainer should you need to defend yourself is thus crucial if you want to run a successful restaurant.

3. A lawyer can help you during real-estate transactions.


If you’re investing in property to start a new branch of your restaurant, you’ll definitely want to employ the services of a lawyer to review all of your paperwork. From making sure things are zoned appropriately to reviewing your purchase agreement and closing documents for any potential errors, the right attorney can be critical when you’re buying property. Commercial real estate can be complicated, and the last thing you want is to lose out on a deal due to a technicality, so talk to a lawyer before signing.

4. An attorney can protect you from anti-discrimination lawsuits.


While a lot of people hope that they never have to face an anti-discrimination lawsuit due to the bad publicity it gives you, the unfortunate truth is that with such a revolving door of employees, restaurants are definitely susceptible to these sorts of suits. As such, it’s better to know a lawyer who can defend you should a previous employee or job applicant talks with a litigator and press charges. The bottom line is that a lawyer can protect you and your business’ interests, so it’s important to have a network of experienced attorneys you can call on should you need them.